The Communications Director for the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) has chastised the Akufo-Addo government over the closure of Radio XYZ and other radio stations in the country over license-related issues.
Paa Kow Ackon who was speaking on Power 97.9 FM’s breakfast show, Dwaboase, noted the action by the National Communications Authority (NCA) amounts to suppression of press freedom, stressing the regulator could have chosen a different way to address the matter.
Radio XYZ and Radio Gold were closed down on May 9, 2019, by NCA and state security operatives armed to the teeth at a time both stations were broadcasting live a press conference by the opposition NDC Council of Elders to protest the suspected intimidation and harassment of their National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo.
The NCA has since closed some other radio stations in the Central, Volta, Ahafo, Western and Bono regions for ‘authorization breaches’-sparking a national debate over the legitimacy of the NCA’s action.
A pressure and media advocacy group, Free Media vanguard (FMV) is fronting for justice for the affected media houses, and has vowed not to relent until the government-controlled NCA rescinds its harsh decision.
Among series of activities, the FMV led by its lead advocate Shayaw Deen and convener Prince Minkah will stage a protest to fight for the rights of the affected radio stations.
Commending the initiative of the FMV, Paa Kow Ackon bemoaned the sudden nosedive of press freedom in the country and blamed the government for aiding it. He also kicked against the conspicuous “witch hunting” spree the government has launched against media houses aligned to the opposition parties.
“I know people who work at Radio XYZ and are not members of the NDC. You can’t say they are NDC members and target them in that manner. In the same way, you can’t say because Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom owns GN Bank, it means all the employees working for the bank are members of the PPP. No, there are some who are NDC and NPP members,” Ackon said as he condemned the government for taking an action that will render hundreds of Ghanaians jobless.
Wondering why the government will chase pro-opposition radio stations in an era press freedom is supposed to advance in a democratic country like Ghana, the PPP spokesman said, “If the media house or a radio station flouts the law, you the regulator should not be seen collapsing their business. There are other channels you can adopt to resolve the issue and prevent people from losing their sources of livelihood.”
Mr. Ackon went on to state that “everybody owes; even the government that owes a lot has not been collapsed by its creditors, so why shut down a radio station for owing while you can use other means to resolve the issue?